Dante Benjamin took the opening kickoff 85 yards to the house, and the McGregor Mercuries never looked back as they rambled to a 72-6 win at Floodwood, Sept. 6. After the Polar Bears went three-and-out on their first possession, Benjamin returned the punt to mid-field. A 17-yard pass from Willie Glunz to Ethan Bohn set up a second Merc touchdown, a seven-yard run by Drew Dean. A pair of Joe Oliver PAT runs put the Mercs up 16-0 at the 8:23 mark of the opening period.
Floodwood was forced to punt on its second possession, but the Mercs muffed the punt, resulting in a two-yard touchdown run, narrowing McGregor’s lead to 16-6.
However, the offense went right back to work when Oliver raced 47 yards for a third Merc touchdown. Colton Anderson’s PAT made the score McGregor 24, Floodwood 6. McGregor’s defense was stellar all night, forcing another Polar Bear three-and-out. Six plays later, Oliver scored his second touchdown. The Mercs led 30-6 with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.
A McGregor onside kick gave the visitors the ball at the 48-yard line. After Dean picked up nine yards, Anderson sprinted down the sideline for a 39-yard TD. Benjamin’s PAT made the score 38-6. Glunz added a second quarter score, giving the Mercs a 45-6 halftime lead.
Sophomore Jacob Metzen scored twice in the third period on runs of 76 and 61 yards, and Benjamin scored on a 63-yard run. Anderson scored the final Merc TD in the fourth quarter on an 18-yard pass interception.
Metzen led the team in rushing with 162 yards. Alex Henry was credited with nine tackles while Chris Jackson and Dean had five tackles each. Anderson had a pair of pass interceptions, and Bohn and Oliver each had one pick. Brennon Fredrickson had a fumble recovery.
“Our kids played really well on both sides of the ball,” said coach Bob Staska. “We got off to a fast start, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.. We worked hard on special teams all last week since that was a concern against Hill City/Northland. Our goal is to get better each game. I was pleased that a lot of players got touches. It helps build team morale, and the kids had fun.”
The Mercs play Ogilvie, one of the toughest teams on their schedule, at home Friday night.
McGregor 38 7 19 8 72
Floodwood 6 0 0 0 6
M-Dante Benjamin 85 KO return (Joe Oliver run)
M-Drew Dean 7 run (Oliver run)
F-2 run (PAT failed)
M-Oliver 47 run (Colton Anderson run)
M-Oliver 14 run (PAT failed)
M-Anderson 39 run (Benjamin run)
M-Willie Glunz 3 run (Dean kick)
M-Jacob Metzen 76 run (Dean kick)
M-Benjamin 63 run (Dean kick)
M-Metzen-61 run (kick failed)
M-Anderson 18-yard int. (Dean pass from Glunz)
Team and individual statistics:
Total offense: M-471 yds., F-122 yds.
Passing: M-26 yds., F-48 yds.
Rushing: M-445 yds., F-74 yds.
Mercs’ individual rushing:
Metzen 162 yds.
Dean 87 yds.
Oliver 73 yds.
Benjamin 66 yds.
Anderson 46 yds.
Glunz 13 yds.